After previously missing the indoors, I now feel like I’ve experienced way too much of it. We have spent the last three days in various malls around Jakarta, not at all what was planned for the remainder of our trip. Our excursions were canceled without much explanation, today’s being that the advisor did not want to guide us through the historic city due to the heat. (Today was definitely the hottest day of the whole trip.) And so we journeyed to two different malls, in place of the outdoor markets that were mentioned weeks ago.
We are all quite tired and ready to be home, so long as everyone has the appropriate souvenirs for their friends and family. Many of us also purchased batiks, which are traditionally men’s shirts with a unique print representative of each city or village in Indonesia. For women they make tops, pants, dresses and skirts, and I spent much time finding the perfect batik for myself and as a gift for my boyfriend. I got magnets for Grandma and some other miscellaneous family members, because how can I say I went somewhere if I didn’t get a magnet for Grandma? And lastly some jewelry for my friends. But I did wish that we spent more time learning about Indonesian culture, and experiencing it firsthand, instead of an abbreviated view where much was lost in translation.
I do have much appreciation for this program though, because I would not have felt as comfortable travelling to such an obscure place such as Indonesia without my advisors. Being guided by them made the experience challenging in some aspects, since I am used to planning and managing my own journeys, but their involvement in regards to Indonesian conservation issues and basic understanding of the language were worth enough to make me feel safe in travelling so far from home. Terima kasih Erin and Wendy!